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Antietam Academy could move

February 09, 2005|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

Washington County Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said Tuesday she plans to discuss the future of Antietam Academy's location or locations with the Board of Education within a month.

Morgan said the school system is underserving the alternative school population, which attends Antietam Academy, and South Hagerstown High School is overcrowded and in dire need of more space.

The academy is located on South High's campus. Antietam Academy serves students whose behavior is disturbing to teachers and fellow students and/or who have a high level of Attention Deficit Disorder or distractibility, and/or who have pronounced academic deficits, Morgan said.

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Eighty-four students attend the academy, but Morgan estimated at least 100 more students in mainstream classes would be better served by the structure and smaller class sizes provided at the academy. Those students are not having successful experiences in regular classrooms with 26 students, she said.

Morgan told school board members during a Tuesday afternoon work session that she believed the academy needed to move out of the wing on South High's campus.

In an interview in between meetings on Tuesday, Morgan said South High is overcrowded and in dire need of that space, but the school board has not decided whether to move the academy.

The academy is at one site now and Morgan said she hoped in the future to see it at multiple sites.

She said nontraditional sites for the academy should be considered, such as at shopping centers or malls, partnering with a program in the community or using parts of new schools that will be built.

During an afternoon joint meeting with the Washington County Commissioners, Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook asked whether the academy would be relocated.

School board member Roxanne R. Ober said room would be opening at Western Heights Middle School when the fifth grade moves back to Salem Avenue Elementary School.

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